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Frederick Douglass’ College Hill Message Endures for 2022

The "Celebrating The African Spirit" organization, also known as C.A.S. organized the second annual Frederick Douglass Event at College Hill Park in Poughkeepsie, NY on Saturday, July 30, 2022. This is the second year that the Poughkeepsie Community gathered at College Hill to commemorate the speech of Frederick Douglass that took place about 164 years ago on August 2, 1858, in the same location. Over 250 people attended the event in Poughkeepsie.

Photo Caption: Carmen Marchaline McGill, Co-Founder and Board Chair of C.A.S speaking to attendees at the 2nd Annual 'Frederick Douglass' Event on July 30, 2022, at College Hill Park, Poughkeepsie, NY.

The message that abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass delivered back in 1858 was reinterpreted through a new spoken-word piece titled "Expressions" written by actress Jasmine Garvin and singer Talent Davis who are both from Poughkeepsie. Garvin spoke to the Goodie Drop about the writing process saying, "Because the language was something that we are not used to today, we did a comparison of elders interpreting his texts and then the youth interpreting his texts in a way that could be understood by everyone. We didn't want to discredit his words and the power they had. But we also wanted to give another explanation or layer of that, to then fully understand the gravity of what he was saying."

“We did a comparison of elders interpreting his (Frederick Douglass) texts and then the youth interpreting his texts,

- Jasmine Garvin

During the event, the aroma from the grill run by Gennie's Soul Food Restaurant covered the hillside along with amazing artwork created by C.A.S. summer interns. Uplifting performances by Melody Africa Drum & Dance Group, the Souls United Choir, and the Poughkeepsie Performing Dance Academy were also a sight to enjoy! The program also included a moment of meditation with Mindfulness with Mioshi.

Photo Caption: Photos of performers, activities and attendees that were present at the 2nd Annual Frederick Douglass Event on July 30, 2022, at College Hill Park, Poughkeepsie, NY.

C.A.S. - Celebrating The African Spirit

The Poughkeepsie-based non-profit C.A.S. organization have plans to continue these Frederick Douglass celebrations every year as a reminder of the local history. To learn more about C.A.S. and future events visit -


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